I’ll make this short and sweet because I know we’re both pretty busy right now. It must be quite a job getting ready to head out tonight—packing the sleigh, gassing up the reindeer, making your list and checking it twice. Good thing you have all those elves helping you out. But let me get straight to the point. I’ve been good this year. I made it through the entire holiday shopping season without actually killing anyone. I kept all my mean thoughts to myself (and there were many). I didn’t even yell! Okay, yes, I did hang up on someone, but that was totally an accident. Those phones are tricky sometimes. And she called back right away, so it was all good. The point is I deserve some of the things on my Christmas list. Things that only you can help me out with. So what do you think?
This first thing on my list isn’t really for me. It’s for the poor unfortunate teenage girls I see at work every day. Could you please bring these girls some pants? I’m pretty sure they don’t have any of their own, because I can’t understand why they would walk around in the cold wearing just leggings, a North Face jacket, and some Ugg boots if they had any pants to wear. So please, Santa. Bring these girls some pants to put on. Or at least impart them with the wisdom that leggings are not a substitute for the pants they do own. And on a related note—Please, I beg you. Please put a stop to the Jeggings.
And lastly, Santa, a request just for me. Can I finally have a pony? I’ve wanted one for years, but you never seem to bring me one. I promise I’ll take good care of it. I know I don’t have the best track record for keeping things alive, but I’ve kept my cactus for a couple years and the cat seems to be doing fine too, so I think I can handle a pony now. Please Santa? It’ll be the best Christmas present ever! I really have been good! Look, I even made you cookies! Ginger cookies with BACON in it! That’s gotta score some points right? I mean come on. It’s bacon in a cookie. You’re obviously not into the whole watching what you eat thing, so give them a try. They’re like a smoky, slightly salty gingerbread cookie. With bacon. Not enough bacon, in my opinion, but I’ll fix that next year. So what do you say, Santa? Will I get my Christmas wishes this year?
Adapted from Martha Stewart’s Holiday Cookies 2010
Makes about 2 ½ dozen
6 slices cooked bacon, torn or cut into 1/4-inch pieces*
¼ cup bacon fat (reserved from cooking)
2 ½ cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
¾ cup packed light brown sugar
¾ cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1/3 cup molasses
½ cup raw sugar, such as turbinado (or more granulated sugar)
Smoked sea salt, for sprinkling
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line baking sheets with parchment or silicone baking mats; set aside.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, and salt together to combine.
3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter and sugars together until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in bacon fat. Add egg and mix until combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add molasses and mix until blended. Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture, a little at a time, beating until just combined. Mix in bacon pieces.
4. Using a 1-inch cookie scoop or a heaping tablespoon, roll dough into balls. Roll balls in raw sugar (or granulated sugar) and place on prepared baking sheets, spacing about 2 inches apart. Flatten balls slightly with the bottom of a glass or the palm of your hand and sprinkle tops with a few flakes of sea salt. Bake, rotating halfway through, until lightly browned and the tops are cracked, about 8 minutes. Let cool on cookie sheets for 3 minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.
*Note: I don't feel like there's nearly enough bacon in these cookies. For me, because I love bacon, I'd probably up the amount of bacon to 10 or 12 slices next time so I can taste some bacon in each bite. But that's just me.